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Thursday 5 December 2019


Ministry of Finance and Planning Assistant Commissioner for External Finance, Mrs. Mamelta Mutagwaba (second left), who represented the Minister for Finance and Planning, cuts a ribbon to officially launch the first Absa branded branch in Tanzania at Palm Village, Mwai Kibaki Road in Dar es Salaam on Tuesday. Looking on from left are; Barclays Bank Tanzania (BBT) Board Chairman, Simon Mponji, BBT Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed, Chinese Business Chamber Chairman, Janson Huang, BBT Head of Retail Banking, Oscar Mwamfwagasi and BBT Head of Communications and Corporate Relations, Aron Luhanga.
Barclays Bank Tanzania has started to rebrand its properties in the country following a take-over by Absa Group Limited last year.

On Tuesday, the Bank unveiled its first Absa branded branch at Palm Village along Mwai Kibaki Road in Dar es Salaam with the Bank’s Managing Director, Abdi Mohamed, assuring customers that the changes would not affect the quality of services offered by the Bank.

“We are getting ready to change our name from Barclays Bank Tanzania to Absa Bank Tanzania. This is in line with our parent company Absa Group Limited’s decision to rebrand all its operations to Absa, as announced in July 2018,” said the Managing Director during the ceremony to unveil the new Absa branded branch. He noted that over the coming weeks, people in the country will witness more of Absa branded branches, ATMs and some other branded assets take on the warm, vibrant red colour palette of the Absa brand, symbolic of the many shades under our hot African sun. “This is the look-and-feel we will be rolling out across our Tanzania branch network,” he declared.

According to Mr Mohamed the change was part of one of the largest rebranding projects in Africa scheduled to be completed by mid-2020 and part of a broader, multi-country rebrand programme happening at Group-level.

Appreciating the size of the task ahead and in preparation to change their name, the bank started to introducing Absa’s warm, vibrant red colour palette on some of its assets, including bank branches and ATMs, to ensure that they make their clients and the general public aware of the changes ahead of before new legal name changes.
He noted that the bank will continue to be known as Barclays Bank Tanzania until the process was officially concluded.

“We will continue to listen to our customers and use their feedback to create a business that is relevant and meets their needs. There will always be a demand for physical branches in Tanzania, and branch-based banking remains a key part of our offering,” he said.

Unveiling the branded branch on behalf of the Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Phillip Mpango, the Assistant Commissioner for External Finance, Ms. Mamelta Mutagwaba, noted that the move was a clear testimony of how the bank is committed to continue doing business in the country.

“It is important to note that customers are usually sensitive, and jittery when it comes to re-branding because of the fear that they will lose the services, value for money, reliability that made them loyal.

We call upon banking consumers in Tanzania to have confidence in Absa, and that they will get the same standard of services they have been getting from Barclays. On your part, we expect Absa to reciprocate this trust by making sure that the transition over rebranding is smooth and as flawless as can be”, she said.

She noted; “The government has embarked on a drive to make Tanzania a middle income industrial economy. Such endevour requires concerted efforts involving both the private sector and the public sector. Within this context, private public partnership is needed especially by engaging the banking sector. To achieve this ambition, the country needs to invest heavily in infrastructure, business support, manpower training, and in social amenities.

“The ascendancy of Tanzania onto this industrialization route has seen the launching of infrastructural mega projects, as manifested by the on-going construction of the Standard Gauge Railway, Stigler’s Gorge Hydroelectric power. Construction of Chato airports and Terminal 3 at Mwalimu Nyerere International Airport. Such projects require massive investments. It is our expectation that the banking sector will take the initiative and expand its credit portfolio to accommodate financing of such projects.

“This is one aspect of public finance demand, the other is on productive sectors that are crucial to creating the needed linkages in the industrialization mix, especially agriculture. Traditionally, commercial banks has not been able to adequately finance agriculture, either because of the risk involved in crop failure or the long production cycle which delays the commencement of loan repayment.

“We call upon banks to come up with innovative financing packages that can cater for the agricultural sector. In addition, banks should try to deal with the various obstacles that have tended to make the agricultural sector not bankable. On our part, the government, and the ministry of finance in particular, will work with other ministries to make sure that impediments to advancing loans to the agricultural sector are removed”, added Ms. Mamelta.

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